Updated: Mar 31
This is the season for making sweet breads. It’s nice to be able to give a homemade gift to friends. It’s also nice to have a gift for the unexpected company. But who am I kidding, any time of the year is a good time to make sweet breads.
During summer months, I’ll make sweet breads as it is easier to make a loaf of sweet bread than make pan after pan of cookies. Making sweet breads is a quick, easy snack that gets me out of the kitchen fast. And of all sweet bread recipes I have, Easy Banana Bread is by far my favorite.
The moist texture and the sweet flavor of banana bread always gets rave reviews from my family. And what’s even better is that it can be made with ingredients I usually have on hand. If I don't have overripe bananas on the counter, I can count on my Daughter-in-law having them in her freezer! It’s a great way to get rid of over ripe bananas!
If you’re looking for a simple
I love all sweet breads, but Banana Bread is King, in my humble opinion.
By definition, a sweet bread is made with baking soda or baking powder, a yeast-free bread. In technical term, a sweet bread is made with more fat and sugar than ten percent of the grain of choice, such as wheat or rye flour. It is a dough that will rise in the oven and does not need any time to “proof” before baking.
Banana bread is a classic sweet bread, with overripe bananas as the star of the recipe. It has a unique flavor from the combination of banana, butter and sugar. The addition of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice can take it up to the next level. And adding nuts or dried fruit like raisins will make it even more special.
Making Banana Bread, my favorite sweet bread, is easy. It involves one bowl, a measuring cup and a measuring spoon. Any dough that only uses one bowl is a great recipe! You can save money by not throwing any food out. And adding nuts will add a little protein too.
My Favorite picture is of the crack on top
One of my favorite parts of baking Banana bread is seeing a loaf as it comes from the oven. No two loaves look the same. I always look for the crack in the top of the loaf. The crack is caused by the dough having started to bake on the top and as the dough in the middle bakes, the steam will need to escape, it will escape through the top crust causing the crack. No two loaves will ever look the same.
The crack on top represents God’s people.
As I slide my loaves of banana bread in the hot oven, all the loaves look the same. The same size pan with loaves of dough being level in the pan. It’s like when we all come to Jesus. In God's eye we are all the same. We come with the same size sin, in God’s eyes, all sin is equal. So, we look alike, all sinners. It is after asking God in our hearts that we start to look a little different. The difference comes when the heat is applied.
Jesus used the parable, written in both Gospels of Luke and Matthew, to describe the parable of the Sower. In this parable, He speaks of grain falling on the rocky soil, on the thorny soil, on the good soil and on the hard path. Sometimes the grain is wasted when it lands on the rocky, thorny or hard soil; it sticks for a short time and may even start to grow, but then, when heat is applied, the soil that wasn't properly prepared let's the seed be wasted.
Banana bread is like the seed sown on the good soil. It will be moist and delicious when baked with correct ingredients and mixed well. At the right temperature, not too hot but it also can't be in the oven on too low a termperature. The correct time and temperature is as necessary as the correct ingredients.
My banana bread will act like the parable of the Sower. If the correct ingredients are prepared but mixed wrong, or if the wrong temperature is used or wrong timing, my bread will not be good. So I look for the crack. A crack in the surface tells me how it is baking and how long to leave it in the oven. At times, if a loaf does not crack, and bakes too soon, the inside will remain dense and soggy. Not good for eating. A few will come out of the oven having risen but not forming a crack. This loaf is a fake, good looking on the outside but gummy and underbaked on the inside.
But the loaf that comes out cracked, having responded to the heat, has come out with a crack on top or down the middle, the heat applied that made the crack has done it’s job. This loaf that cracked will be the perfect loaf. It will be moist, with a good crumb and ready for eating.
We Christians need heat applied as well. We learn to trust, to grow in faith and to trust when the heat is applied to our lives. It may be in the form of a wayward child, a sick spouse, an unforeseen circumstance or just life spinning too fast every day of the week. Without feeling the heat, we won't want or need to feel the relief of our Savior's touch.
My parable of the loaf of banana bread? In our Christian walk, use the right ingredients, the correct amounts, mixed up well in our lives. And don't rush into the heat but also do not run from it either. We need our Savior's touch to teach, correct, adjust and apply the tools necessary to become a perfect Christian, but it all takes the correct amount of time.
EASY BANANA BREAD
3 - 4 ripe Bananas, mashed
2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup Applesauce
3/4 cup Sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp Baking Soda
pinch of Salt
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Nuts, chopped
In a small bowl, mix bananas, applesauce and egg together.
In a larger separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.
Add wet ingredients and stir to mix. Do not overmix.
Mixture will be thick.
Pour into a greased 9 x 5 bread pan. Lining the bottom of the pan with parchment paper helps in removing baked bread.
Bake at 350° for 50 - 60 minutes. Test with toothpick. When toothpick removes clear, it is done.
Remove from oven and allow to cool 15 minutes. Remove from pan to cooling rack.